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Veeam Gets Physical Targeting Servers, Hybrid Cloud and Office 365 Support

Veeam Software sowed its oats by providing an easy way for VMware shops to back up their virtual machines. But now it appears Microsoft is playing a new role in the company's plan to extend the types of workloads it can protect.

Moving beyond the VM, Veeam is now looking to protect hybrid cloud infrastructure, physical servers and Office 365 Exchange Online. At a launch event in Boston this week and broadcast online, Veeam outlined an extensive pipeline of new wares that will appear in the coming quarters that promise to extend the range of IT assets its offerings can backup and restore.

A superset of the new management and orchestration tools and connectors in the works includes the new Veeam Availability for Hybrid Clouds, which includes the forthcoming Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, along with agents for physical servers and public cloud targets. The launch of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, which will give customers on-premises copies and e-discovery capability of e-mail using the Veeam Exchange Backup Explorer, also marks Veeam's move from protecting on-premises workloads to software-as-a-service cloud applications.

In adding Office 365 to its portfolio, Veeam is taking on those who specialize in SaaS-based data protection such as EMC's Spanning and Datto's Backupify, which also protect other cloud-based applications from the likes of and Google. Veeam officials said customers, many of whom used the company's Veeam Backup for Microsoft Exchange to offer the Office 365 as their shops, have transitioned to the online e-mail service.

Enterprise Strategy Group Analyst Jason Buffington said that adding Office 365 support as well as protection of hybrid cloud and physical server resources will give Veeam customers less reason to seek out secondary backup providers. "They didn't build it from scratch -- they extended their core platform to support it," Buffington said.

Indeed, as Veeam officials explained it, the Backup for Office 365 tool brokers Office 365 connections through the native Exchange Web Services API, which lets administrators map a hierarchy that lets them create archive jobs on a mailbox-by-mailbox basis, or set separate schedules.

The archives are stored in the native Exchange Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), once known as the Joint Engine Technology (JET) Blue database format. Veeam claims the Backup for Office 365 tool will offer granular recovery options through Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which gives administrators access to archives so they can recover entire mailboxes, as well as individual e-mail items, including such calendar entries and tasks. Administrators can also export the mail items out to a .PST file for offline viewing.

In addition to riding the wave of Office 365's growth, Microsoft is playing a key role by helping provide a major boost in performance by adding Veeam Availability Suite, which the company said will ship in October. Specifically, Veeam engineers became enamored with the upgraded Resilient File System (ReFS) coming to Windows Server 2016 this fall (see our first look at the technical preview by MVP Paul Ferrill, published earlier this year). Recovery of workloads that can take hours or days, have been reduced to 15 minutes, company officials said. Doug Hazelman, Veeam's VP of product strategy said ReFS is enabling that. While it will require organizations to use the new server as a backup repository, the original data can reside on any platform, he said.

"I think what you're going to see when once 9.5 is out the door, and Windows Server 2016 is out the door with ReFS, is the integration we are doing is deeper than any other vendor," Hazelman said. "One of the cool things we are able to deliver is a file system that is far and away above anything we could have done ourselves."

While Veeam is riding on some success coming out of Redmond these days, the company prides itself on a broad number of partnerships that still include strong ties with VMware and include, among others, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), EMC, Cisco, NetApp and the latest one announced this week, IBM, whose Storwize and SVC storage arrays will be supported in Veeam Availability Suite 10 next year.

While Veeam long eschewed agent-based technology for its VM protection platform, the company has developed agents to target cloud and physical machines, Hazelman said. "We're going with agent technology on a per-VM basis because there are no sockets in the cloud -- it's just workloads," Hazelman said at the event.

The Veeam Availability Platform for Hybrid Cloud will incorporate its namesake availability suite targeted at private clouds and virtual server workload availability with support for public clouds and physical servers via its new Veeam Agent for Linux and Windows, a new disaster recovery orchestration tool and a cloud-based management consoles for large enterprises and service providers. Components will start rolling out next quarter.

Making his first appearance as the company's newly appointed president and COO was Peter McKay, who most recently was general manager of VMware's $3.5 billion Americas business, where he spent three years after the company acquired Desktone, where he was CEO. "I come with experience of scale but also from the speed and agility and entrepreneurship that's required in the smaller companies," McKay said. "I do see we are at an inflexion point. This new [release] is going to be very impactful."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/26/2016 at 12:31 PM


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